Surrogacy for single dads

English law does not prohibit single dads having children through surrogacy (and we work with many who do it), but there is no legal framework. This can make things difficult because:

  • There is no straightforward way of sorting out the UK legalities to extinguish the surrogate’s responsibilities and secure sole parenthood.
  • It is harder to find a surrogate in the UK.

If you are conceiving with a surrogate in the UK or abroad, it is critical to ensure that you will be your child’s legal father.  This depends on your surrogate’s marital status and where conception takes place, as well as biology. Find out more about UK parenthood law.

If your child is born outside the UK, you will also need to navigate international surrogacy law, including immigration processes to bring your child back to the UK.

To care for your child in the UK, you will also need to secure parental responsibility, and there are various ways of doing this. Parental orders, the legal solution for surrogacy (which give parenthood to the intended parents after the birth and extinguish the status of the surrogate) are only available to couples who are married or living together. In 2008 (when parental orders were opened to same-sex couples) we drafted an amendment to the law covering single parents too. This was debated in Parliament, but unfortunately blocked by the government which said that government policy was to allow surrogacy only for couples. We still want to see this changed, to accommodate single parents, and are campaigning (through Natalie Gamble Associates and Brilliant Beginnings) to change the law. In the meantime, we are working with single dads to find creative legal solutions.